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August 21 , 2013

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Vol. 31 No. 34

FORMER GOVERNORS DISCUSS IMMIGRATION ISSUES Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell spoke at the Essential Economy Council’s “Comprehensive Immigration Reform in America,” a conversation exploring issues related to immigration at the Georgia Tech Research Institute in Atlanta on Aug. 19. Barbour, a Republican, and Rendell, a Democrat, are co-chairs of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Immigration Task Force. While emphasizing that compromise will be essential to moving any immigration package forward, they both voiced support of the comprehensive immigration bill passed by the U.S. Senate on June 27, saying it takes steps to enforce rules for immigrants who have overstayed their visas. Both men shot down the idea that the bill would grant legal status for illegal immigrants at the expense of those who are in Barbour this country legally. “The good thing about the Senate bill is it gives those people who have applied for visas the right to have their visas before any of the 11 million undocumented people get theirs,” Rendell said. “There’s a lot of disinformation out there saying that those people who played by the rules are going to get passed over by these people who broke the rules. That’s simply not true.” Rendell said it is highly unlikely the House will bring S. 744 to a vote because of a rule House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has invoked requiring bills to pass the Republican caucus before they can be brought to the floor. Georgia Farm Bureau 4th District Director Skeetter McCorkle liked the fact that Rendell and Barbour have found common political ground on how to deal with immigration. “At the end of the day we’re all farmers, and farmers have to have workers. If we don’t have a workforce, we don’t have a business. We don’t have a farm,” said McCorkle. Barbour said the Senate bill is a step in the right direction and makes improvements over the current immigration framework. “The status quo is awful,” Barbour said. “To do nothing is the worst outcome.” Morgan County dairy farmer Everett Williams attended the event and felt it shed light on the importance of immigrants in the United States. “They are vital to our economy,” Williams said. “Any kind of economic study shows that they are contributing and they produce way more than they cost.” The panel discussion, which was moderated by Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editor Kevin Riley, drew approximately 60 representatives from a variety of stakeholder organizations, including a variety of agricultural groups. Georgia Farm Bureau was among the event’s sponsors.


Leadership Alert page 2 of 6 VILSACK SAYS USDA TO HALT COTTON PAYMENTS TO BRAZIL Citing limited funds due to sequestration and uncertainty about the farm bill, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said earlier this month that the USDA would make a half payment to Brazil in September, as part of the settlement between the U.S. and Brazil over that country’s WTO complaint regarding U.S. cotton subsidies, according to published reports. The agreement, reached in 2010, called for the U.S. to make $147 million in payments to Brazil, which would in turn refrain from levying retaliatory tariffs on a wide variety of imported U.S. products. The settlement agreement was intended to be temporary to allow Congress time to adjust the cotton program in the farm bill. The tariffs would have amounted to more than $800 million and would have been assessed on physical goods, including many U.S. farm exports to Brazil, as well as intellectual property. The dispute, ongoing since 2002, centered on U.S. government payment and loan programs available to cotton farmers, particularly the marketing loan program, countercyclical payments and the GSM-102 Export Credit Guarantee Program. Vilsack said the half payment, estimated in a DTN report to be just over $6 million, was the result of limited available funds under sequestration rules, and once the farm bill expires Sept. 30, there won’t be any authorized funds to continue making the payments. According to DTN, the money for the payments was not included in the FY 2014 federal budget, which assumed the payments would be accounted for with the enactment of a new farm bill. In a statement, the National Cotton Council emphasized that a new multi-year farm bill is the way to achieve a final resolution of the cotton portions of the long standing trade dispute with Brazil. The Senate passed a new farm bill in June. The House passed a farm bill without nutrition programs in mid-July, and the two bills await conference committee deliberations expected to begin after Congress returns from its August recess. GEORGIA FARM REAL ESTATE VALUES INCH UP Farm real estate in Georgia gained $100 per acre in average value from 2012 to 2013, according to an Aug. 5 report from the USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service. Overall, Georgia farmland average value rose from $3,500 per acre to $3,600 per acre, an increase of 2.9 percent. The value of irrigated cropland increased by $200 per acre, from $3,200 in 2012 to $3,400 in 2013. Non-irrigated cropland values fell from $3,400 per acre in 2012 to $3,350 in 2013. Georgia pasture land maintained its value at $4,200 per acre. Rental rates for agricultural land in Georgia increased from $98 per acre to $98.50 per acre. Perhaps in connection with extensive rainfall throughout 2013, rental rates fell for irrigated acreage from $179 per acre in 2012 to $174 in 2013, while rentals for non-irrigated cropland increased from $57 per acre in 2012 to $62 per acre in 2013. Georgia’s pastureland rentals averaged $24 per acre. The Southeast region, which includes Georgia, Alabama, Florida and South Carolina, maintained average farm real estate values at $3,320 per acre, though cropland values across the region fell by $100 per acre, from $3,510 per acre in 2012 to $3,410 per acre in 2013. Alabama’s farm real estate values stayed at $2,000 per acre, while farm real estate values in Florida and South Carolina declined slightly.


Leadership Alert page 3 of 6 UGA EXTENSION ADDS BEEF CATTLE SPECIALIST The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has hired Jacob Segers as a beef cattle specialist. Segers’ responsibilities at UGA include helping Georgia’s cattle producers make the most of their herds and helping beef consumers gain a better understanding of their hamburgers and steaks. “Extension in Georgia is a model program nationwide, the way that we have our county agents set up and our county delivery system is just excellent,” Segers said. “For me it’s coming home. The opportunity to come back and give back to the program that’s totally responsible for every success that I’ve had, there’s no way I would have been able to stay in animal agriculture or be a part of the things I’ve been a part of had it not been for Extension, 4-H and FFA here in Georgia.” A Georgia native and UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences graduate, Segers worked previously at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The majority of his UGA work will focus on keeping county agents, farmers and consumers informed on the most current topics and technologies available to the beef industry. Segers grew up near Jasper in North Georgia. His grandparents raised commercial cows when he was a child. He was involved in 4-H and FFA in middle school and high school and attended UGA. He was on the 2007 livestock judging team with coach Jary Douglas. Segers also served as a recruiter for the animal and dairy science department. While in graduate school at UGA, he worked closely with the Georgia Cattleman’s Association. Segers will also teach courses at UGA’s Tifton Campus, including grazing animal production and management when UGA’s spring semester starts in January 2014. For more information about how UGA Extension helps beef producers maximize the potential of their herds, visit http://caes.uga.edu/commodities. CORN UP, COTTON AND PEANUTS DOWN IN NASS AUGUST CROP REPORT While Georgia’s corn production is expected to increase by 46 percent from last year to this year, Georgia farmers are expected to produce 41 percent fewer peanuts and 14 percent less cotton in 2013 than in 2012, according to the August forecast from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service released on Aug. 12. Georgia corn growers are expected to produce a record-high average yield of 181 bushels per acre in 2013, generating a total production of 81.45 million bushels, up from 55.8 million bushels in 2012. The state’s cotton growers are anticipated to harvest 2.5 million 480-pound bales in 2013, down from 2.91 million bales in 2012. The forecast decline in Georgia peanut production reflects a sharp acreage decline. Growers planted 510,000 acres and are anticipated to harvest 1.95 billion pounds of peanuts in 2013, down from 3.3 billion pounds in 2012. Tobacco production is forecast at 30 million pounds in 2013, up from 22.5 million in 2012. Georgia soybean growers are forecast to harvest 8.75 million bushels in 2013, an increase of 755,000 bushels over 2012, or 10 percent. The state’s winter wheat growers expanded acreage by nearly 50 percent and are expected to harvest 19.25 million bushels in 2012, up from 11.27 million bushels in 2012.


Leadership Alert page 4 of 6 GEORGIA GROWN FARMER SHOWCASE Aug. 24 Park Market, Centennial Olympic Park 9 a.m. - noon Atlanta Sept. 14 Park Market, Centennial Olympic Park 9 a.m. - noon Atlanta Sept. 28 Park Market, Centennial Olympic Park 9 a.m. - noon Atlanta This family-friendly series features dozens of vendors from around the state, offering locally grown fresh Georgia produce and plant sales, meet and greets with local farmers and much more. For more information, visit http://www.georgiagrown.com or call 404-656-3689. PASTURE FIELD DAY Aug. 24 Crutchfield Farms Dalton This field day features best management practices and integrated pest management practices for pastures. Crutchfield Farms is located at 2601 Lake Francis Rd NE in Dalton. For more information, contact Brenda Jackson at 706-278-8207 or bljack@uga.edu or visit http://extension.uga.edu/calendar/event.cfm?pk_id=2288.   EGG CANDLING CLASS Aug. 28 Putnam County Cooperative Extension Eatonton Putnam Cooperative Extension is hosting an egg candling class for egg/poultry producers who are interested in being able to comply with Georgia Department of Agriculture rules and regulations for the sale of eggs to consumers. For more information, or to register for this program, contact Deborah Ingram or Bradley Brown with the Georgia Department of Agriculture at 770-535-5955 or visit http://extension.uga.edu/calendar/event.cfm?pk_id=2533. VIDALIA ONION REFERENDUM TO BEGIN SEPT. 9 A referendum to determine whether Vidalia onion producers favor the continuation of the Vidalia onion marketing order will be held from Sept. 9 to Sept. 27. To be eligible to vote, producers must have produced Vidalia onions within the designated production area during the period from Jan. 1, 2012, to Dec. 31, 2012. For more information http://tinyurl.com/jw9jd66 or contact Corey E. Elliott or Christian D. Nissen in the Agricultural Marketing Service Southeast Marketing Field Office by phone at 863-324-3375 or by email at Corey.Elliott@ams.usda.gov or Christian.Nissen@ams.usda.gov. GEORGIA FARM BUREAU DISTRICT ANNUAL MEETINGS Sept. 10 3rd District Center at Arbor Connection 7 p.m. Douglasville Sept. 12 2nd District North Georgia Technical Coll. 7 p.m. Avalon th Sept. 16 5 District Thomaston Civic Center 7 p.m. Thomaston Sept. 19 10th District Jamestown Baptist Church 7 p.m. Waycross th Sept. 24 7 District First Baptist Church 7 p.m. Statesboro Oct. 8 9th District Mitchell County Ag Center 7 p.m. Camilla st Oct. 10 1 District First Baptist Church 7 p.m. Calhoun Oct. 17 8th District South Georgia Technical Coll. 7 p.m. Americus Oct. 28 6th District Poplar Springs North Bapt. Ch. 7 p.m. Dublin Oct. 29 4th District Greene County High School 7 p.m. Greensboro Contact your county Farm Bureau office for more information. Note: These meetings are for Farm Bureau members only and are not open to the general public.


Leadership Alert page 5 of 6 EGG CANDLING CLASS Sept. 10 Coastal Ga. Botanical Garden at Historic Bamboo Farm Savannah The Georgia Department of Agriculture's Egg Candling Inspector, Lee Lancaster, will conduct this certification class .The information and training received in the lecture will prepare participants for the written examination, as well as, the hands on candling evaluation at the end of the day. If you plan to sell your eggs to individuals, or at a farmers market, an egg candling certificate is required. For more information, call 912-652-7981 or visit http://extension.uga.edu/calendar/event.cfm?pk_id=2528. UGA COTTON & PEANUT RESEARCH FIELD DAY Sept. 11 Coastal Plain Experiment Station 8:30 a.m. Tifton This free event will highlight cotton and peanu research being conducted at UGA’s Tifton Campus. For more information call 229-386-3006. CAES UGA STUDENT RECRUITMENT EVENTS Sept. 19 Toombs County Agricultural Center 5 p .m. Lyons Sept. 24 UGA Tifton Campus Conf. Center 5 p.m. Tifton These events are for high school students in grades 10 -12 who are interested in learning more about the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences (CAES). Parents are welcome, and a meal will be provided. Pre-registration deadlines are Sept. 12 for the Lyons event and Sept. 17 for the Tifton event. To register, contact the Office of Academic Programs at 229-386-3528 or ugatift@uga.edu. EGG CANDLING CLASS Sept. 12 Harris County Extension Clubhouse Hamilton Upon completion of this class, you will be mailed an egg candling certificate which enables you to sell eggs to individuals or at a farmer's market. There will be a 30-minute break for lunch. Light snacks will be provided. Pre-registration is required for this class. To register or for more information call 706-628-4824, email uge2145@uga.edu or visit http://extension.uga.edu/calendar/event.cfm?pk_id=2484 GEORGIA MULTICULTURAL SUSTAINABLE AG CONFERENCE Sept. 17 Gwinnett Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway 8 a.m. – 4 pm. Duluth This conference for beginning and established multicultural farmers features sessions on small scale organic farming and marketing, building diverse urban farm enterprises, aquaculture, mushroom production, pasture management and many more. Registration is $20, which includes lunch and instructional materials. To register, visit http://tinyurl.com/mecjba8. For more information contact the Upper Ocmulgee River RC&D Council at 678-376-9518 or the NRCS Lawrenceville Service Center at 770-963-9288. 27TH GEORGIA PEANUT TOUR Sept. 17-19 Varous locations around Valdosta This tour spotlights South Georgia’s peanut production area, giving participants a variety of field conditions, peanut harvest clinics, production research, handling and grading, and on-farm demonstrations. Stops include the UGA Tifton Campus and the Georgia Department of Agriculture lab in Tifton. For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/nye84yl or call 229-3863470.


Leadership Alert page 6 of 6 BEYOND THE FARM GATE SOCIAL MEDIA SEMINAR Sept. 24 UGA CAES Activity Center 8:45 a.m. – 5 p.m. Athens This free event, funded under a USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Grant, will help farmers gain the skills and knowledge they need to establish and maintain an effective online presence for their farm or ranch. To register, contact Chris Morgan at 706-542-7102 or acm@uga.edu. visit http://www.depts.ttu.edu/aged/beyondthefarmgate/events.html. Registration deadline is Sept. 17. TRI-STATE PEANUT DISEASE TOUR Sept. 24-26 Various sites This tour includes visits to research sites in Georgia, Florida and Alabama. For more information contact Dr. Albert Culbreath at 229-386-3370 or spotwilt@uga.edu. INTERNATIONAL AGRIBUSINESS CONFERENCE AND EXPO Sept. 25-26 Savannah International Trade & Convention Center Savannah This inaugural event, sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau, will help farmers and businesses learn how to capitalize on the growing export market. Participants will be provided with information on the markets open to their products, how to export their goods and what exporting can do for their bottom lines. Participants will attend educational forums and workshops, learning from experts in agricultural importing and exporting and about the latest practices in processing valueadded agricultural products. They also will have a chance to meet with international trade representatives. The conference’s main sponsor is Georgia Farm Bureau. For more information about the conference’s schedule, see www.iace.us.com. Registration is $190 in advance and $210 onsite. For more information visit http://ceps.georgiasouthern.edu/conted/iace.html.


Georgia Farm Bureau's Leadership Alert - August 21, 2013